Thursday, February 06, 2014

it's not all downhill from here

when my alarm goes off, the first thing i always do is check email and yes, facebook. this morning, the wonderful mari linked to this piece on the fluff post (thank you for that term, extranjera) by some 45-year-old woman. as a woman of 46, i personally feel sorry for this emily that the best part of her day is when she climbs into bed after her day of complacency and being fearful about the health of everyone around her, in addition to worries about her in-need-of-a-tuck tummy. i found it to be a bleak and unimaginative look at middle age. and i can scarcely find a single sentence of it which resonates with me. i may be but one year older than her, but i by no means feel i'm looking at the downhill side of life.

these days, we have so much more mobility in our lives. we can move to other countries or even just across them, we can change our lifestyles, take on new projects and new adventures and even new jobs in our mid-forties. with retirement ages moving to 70, our working life is hardly half over. we can start over, study towards a new degree or learn a new language or completely change careers. we can take up a new hobby or learn a new craft or start obsessively collecting something new. we aren't tied to one place or one thing or one job and if we have chosen wisely, we can even make all these changes with the same husband in tow.

i'm loving watching my child grow into a beautiful and poised young woman and enjoying her being the age she is as well, even if it is 13. i don't feel sorrowful that she's no longer small and helpless, but tall and capable and sensible and smart and with well-traveled view of the world. it doesn't make me sense my own impending death on the horizon to see her growing up. and while i worry about the maniacs who drive too fast on our road while she's biking home, i am generally confident that she will grow into the amazing person she's meant to be.

i by no means feel it's too late for me to decide to run a marathon (i doubt i will, but i could if i wanted to) or take a trip to outer mongolia or write a great novel. i feel sorry for emily who thinks her brain has reached its capacity. mine definitely hasn't. my ability to learn and be open to the world and the people around me still feels pretty boundless. i am perhaps more selective about what i choose to spend time on, but that's something different and part of why i love being 46 - i'm wiser now and make better choices. and i have no trouble staying up for the daily show or writing into the wee hours of the morning. my life looks nothing like the sad picture emily paints and i'm happy for that.

i love being in my mid(ish)-forties. i've never been stronger, felt more secure or at ease in myself, or happier. i'm much more sure of who i love, what i love to do and much wiser about how i spend my time and who i spend it with. i've never been smarter or more in tune with myself than i am right now. i have a whole lot of things i'm good at - cooking, sewing, creating, entertaining, getting an overview, learning something new, reading people, thinking creatively, being innovative, being open, embracing change. i wouldn't want to be any other age. and even tho' in a month or so, i'll be 47, i by no means feel my life is going to be all downhill from here.

* * *

the grim truth of the scandinavian miracle. 
and a response by scandinavians who took it a bit too seriously.
especially that guy from iceland.


Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Sing it, sister.

Cyndy said...

How interesting to see this topic today. I'll be 50 at the end of the month and this a.m. was asked by the family what I want or want I want to do. My response: to do something I haven't done before. I'm not talking sky diving (I never wanted to do this, at any age) but to go to a different restaurant, to check out a cool theatre as we contemplate our choices with ours, to eat cake (well, I've done that plenty of times but I want to do it somewhere different in a different environment). Every time I've reached a milestone, I've been amazed at how it seems not to bother me in the least ~ actually, each time I've taken stock in all that I have or have done and think I'm pretty much ahead of the game (I'm not talking dollars and sense~ pun intended~ just happy with what I have). I must say, though, Julie, that you and the group that you have introduced me to through the blogging world has been a highlight that I absolutely love and so much appreciate the creativity, the laughs, the seriousness, the *push* if you will, to reflect upon yesterday with wisdom, to DO something today that will make a difference, and to dream about what tomorrow can bring. I found you when I was about 45, and that was just the beginning. So, no, it's certainly not all downhill unless, of course, you're talking about taking that crazy path that has eluded you with blind spots and awesome curves ~ going down it will just make it faster and more exciting. Sorry for the long, unintended reply, but as happens quite enough, you hit a nerve at just the right time, and once again, we share a moment of serendipity. Thanks!

Molly said...

How did that article even get published? I presume she got paid for it?
And here's your post, so much more inspiring and well crafted and thoughtful.
Silly fluff post, silly Emily, wise & inspiring Julie.
Have a great Friday xxx

Ariadne said...

I didn't read Emily's text, not yet anyway but I definitely agree with you. I am 48 bytheway and no I don't feel old or going downhill or what! I am learning how to crochet (a new hobby, I am doing the job I love, am with the man I love, see my son grow to a handsome clever man,hope for everyone's health including mine and see into future trips and meetings!Thanks for saying things so beautifully!I couldn't agree more.AriadnefromGreece!

d smith kaich jones said...

someone i know posted this on fb, but posted it as something she liked, for god's sake. and i was just . . .

i turned 60 in november. 60! old! and i still feel like anything is possible (except having babies, and actually, that is a good thing as far as i'm concerned). i'm not saying there aren't issues or new "problems", but in truth it ain't that bad. at all. even the cellulite and more gray hairs.

poor emily. i hope i'm around to read her turning 60 article.


julochka said...

thank you all for your kind words! that stupid post by Emily just tumbled around in my head all day and i had to write it out. it's just SO far from how i feel and hope to feel in the coming years.